A group of six teens, none of whom were over the age of 17, were traveling in an SUV from Aurora to Rochelle for a school basketball game recently when they were in a serious accident. MyStateLine.com reports that the driver of the SUV failed to stop for a red light and slammed into the rear of a large tractor trailer. Two of the SUV’s passengers were killed in the crash, and others sustained serious injuries. Law enforcement authorities believe that heavy fog that reduced visibility to no more than 100 yards was a major contributing factor.
This accident serves as a prime example of the challenges that teen motorists face when they choose to drive. Chicago car accident attorneys know when preparing their teenagers for the road, parents and guardians should emphasize the following challenges they may face and how teens should overcome them:
Putting a group of teenagers in a vehicle together can create the perfect recipe for distraction. Research done by the American Automobile’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that even talking to passengers in the vehicle can be distracting enough to cause an accident. Another study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that novice teen drivers who are distracted by their cell phones were between 7 and 8 times more likely than experienced drivers to be involved in an accident.
In two separate studies performed by the AAA, researchers report that experience matters more than age in predicting safety for young drivers. After six months of solo experience behind the wheel, accident rates generally converged for drivers of all ages. This indicates that no matter what age drivers begin learning at, they face a period of roughly 6 months where their inexperience may cost them or others their lives. Some researchers are calling for wider implementation of a graduated driver licensing program, which restricts when and how inexperienced motorists can drive.
Even experienced drivers may have a difficult time controlling their vehicles in poor weather. For teens, extreme weather and inexperience can create the perfect storm where accidents are more likely to occur. When bad weather hits, older drivers often know when it is appropriate to wait it out, while teens are more likely to drive in more dangerous conditions. Chicago car accident attorneys know that this attitude can lead to life-long injuries and fatalities.
Those who have been injured in an accident with an inexperienced or teenage driver should contact Chicago car accident attorneys as soon as possible. With their help, injured motorists may be compensated for lost wages, accident-related expenses, and pain and suffering.